My middle-school-age daughter is studying government, and it’s been a bit humbling. She is a smart girl, and I’ve looked at her homework. It is apparent she knows more about the Founding Fathers and our Constitution than I do—which is hard to admit, as I lived in Washington, D.C., for two
There is one thing I can teach her that would even make the Founding Fathers proud: The right of citizens to petition their government is alive and well, and I get to see it firsthand.
The time I get to spend with my members in the halls of Congress and the Oregon State Capitol is one of the great perks of the job. This month, I am in Washington, D.C., with 25 Oregon co-op leaders. This trip comes on the heels of the extremely successful Oregon Rural Electric Cooperative Association Legislative Day in Salem in mid-March.
Through these meetings, one thing has been abundantly clear: These folks really know how to lobby. They have excellent relationships with their legislators—or are building these relationships—and they know the importance of being politically active. Moreover, they are enthusiastic about electric co-ops and the communities they serve, and this comes through in their meetings with legislators.
I think this type of dialogue between ordinary citizens and their elected officials is exactly what our Founding Fathers envisioned when they set up this government more than 230 years ago. But if you want to know where this is addressed in our Constitution, you’ll have to ask my daughter.